Advancing a Free Society

The Internet, Competition, and Censorship

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Invention of the telegraph and telephone in the nineteenth century had revolutionary impacts on the speed of communications among individuals separated sometimes by vast distances. The Internet and wireless transmission has not only vastly extended the ease of communicating quickly, but also provides quick access to information on a scale far surpassing anything available before.

“Googling” is a new word not only in English but in many other languages as well that means using Internet search engines to discover information on an endless number of subjects. These  include finding the cheapest online price for tennis rackets, cars, hotels, and many other goods and services, finding a time series on GDP per capita for the United States, China, and other countries, discovering when a famous phrase was first used, finding out what is contained in the House of Representatives’ and the Senate’s versions of the health “reform” bills, reading criticisms of government policies, getting email addresses for particular individuals, and tens of thousands of other purposes. I would find it virtually impossible to fit posting on our blog into a busy teaching, research, and speaking schedule without quick access through the Internet to generally reliable information.

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